Thursday, January 22, 2015

Introducing Eloise! A Birth Story, Part 1

If you've been awaiting this announcement, Baby #4 has arrived!  We did have a little medical scare around 38 weeks, but here we are welcoming this precious little girl into our lives now.

Meet Eloise!

We found out we were expecting in the spring, on my husband's birthday no less!

Not long into the second trimester, I started having high blood pressure, but it was borderline, on and off, and at the time there were no other signs of pre-eclampsia, but I was being watched now.

We found out at the mid-pregnancy routine ultrasound that we were having another GIRL!  We could also see that she had the same nose and lips as the rest of the kids.

By the third trimester I was measuring large {which is not unusual for me} and feeling and looking large.  Not to mention I was I was disgustingly uncomfortable.  Since I was continuously measuring large, they suggested an ultrasound to check on baby and fluids, so at 32 weeks we got another peek.  She measured just over 4 lbs (65th percentile), but everything looked great.  Midwife commented that I "don't exactly make them small" which is true, but then they end up petite after that!  We were told she had hair, and we finally got a peek at her face right at the very end.  Definitely the same nose and pouty lips as big sister!

The Pre-Eclampsia Scare
At 37 weeks, my blood pressure was high again.  At this appointment they suggested another round of labs just to be safe.

At 38 weeks I completed the labs, and the midwife checked me.  Dilated to 1, still thick, -2.  She suggested scraping my membranes, I let her, she said I was "now a 2 after that" but nothing came of it.  She also said if it came back pre-eclampsia, they would probably recommend delivery.

I got the call the next day that my labs did show pre-eclampsia.  My midwife spoke with another doctor and he suggested going forward with delivery, but as a VBAC they also wanted me to come into the office to speak with a doctor first.  I scheduled an appointment with the doctor who did my c-section (and delivered Eleanor) and called my husband.  He left work to come home and let me rest while he cleaned and we got things packed, just in case.

We went in the next morning, taking our bags, knowing we'd be sent to the hospital.  My blood pressure was high and they did a non-stress test which showed the baby had tachycardia.  The doctor suggested delivery that day, but when he remembered I was a VBAC he became leery, and eventually suggested we should do a c-section.  He said the on-call doctor was doing a delivery at the other hospital, but they wanted me to go in and get on fluids, and let my stomach settle (I had eaten breakfast) before she got there.

I will spare you the details about why, but my heart knew this suggested c-section was not a medical emergency.  I was speechless, though, and all I could do when he left the room was cry.  My husband couldn't comfort me.  I cried on the poor girls at reception, and I'm sure the patients in the waiting room thought something horrendous had happened.

Even though my momma heart knew better, we went to the hospital.  By the time I was hooked up to everything and we finished the standard Q&A the nurse commented that my blood pressure was normal and baby's heartbeat was stabilizing.  She also noticed that I was having contractions, so she checked me since it had been a few days.  I was dilated to 3 and 70% so she kept an eye on the contractions.  One of the (final) reasons I knew this was not an emergency is that we had to wait around another few hours, because anesthesiology said at least 8 hours since my last meal.  Unless of course, it was an emergency.

When the nurse called the doctor to update her, the OB said she was still going to do the surgery if I was okay with it.  "Actually, she's not" the nurse told her.  My husband had briefed the nurse while I was changing, and she advocated on my behalf.  The next thing I know, the doctor said if things were still normal when she got to the hospital, she may release me.  I cried again, but this time tears of relief.

When the OB got there, she said she looked over the papers from the appointment at the office and she knew why the other doctor sent me in, but they talked again and they felt comfortable releasing me.  She wanted me to come back to the hospital in two days for an NST.  I think she felt like if something was wrong, I'd already be in the hospital.  If things were still good I could just keep my next prenatal appointment since it wasn't too far off.

I was sent home with a reminder of hypertension/pre-eclampsia signs to watch for, and instructions to increase my water intake since I was probably dehydrated and the cold I had wasn't helping things.

I knew as a VBAC with a pre-eclampsia that the best way to avoid a c-section would be for my pre-eclampsia to stay under control and I definitely had to go into labor on my own.  I prayed.  I rested.  I cut out caffeine and increased my water intake.  I knew I would need to have good readings over the next couple of weeks to even get the chance to go into labor on my own.

To be continued . . . 

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  1. I knew some of this already (from the Crew forum), but your thoughts here are so much more than what you shared there. I love reading birth stories, so thank you for sharing yours, Brittney.

    Oh, and of course, congratulations on little Eloise :).

    1. Yes, I was still very rattled and overwhelmed when I shared this part of the story with the crew. I'll have the rest of her story up soon. :)

  2. So cute! Glad the family is doing well.